Fletcher Priest's designs for redevelopment of Latvian capital
The masterplan for the new urban centre in Latvia's capital, Riga, was won in an open international competition in 2007. Built on the Daugava River, the city has a historic medieval core designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the boundaries of which touch the edge of the new development. On a 46 hectare site previously containing allotment gardens and railway tracks, the proposal, which includes various government buildings, residential and commercial development and transport facilities, is rooted in an understanding of its context. It is deliverable in incremental phases and overcomes the constraints of complex infrastructures.
The new centre will spread out on both sides of the existing railway line that runs into the city. The masterplan includes significant new public spaces and a network of animated streets, anchoring civic functions and embedding sustainable public transport into the heart of the site. The proposal includes plans for long-term future development by laying the foundations in public realm for further expansion across a 206 hectare area, establishing the site as the heart of the long-term growth of the city.
The architects' vision is the creation of a district within Riga that can grow over time as an integral part of city, to form a place that has an identity in its own right and which is connected to its surroundings. Integral to such a vision is the aspiration to create active, robust urban streets and defined and much-loved public spaces, building on the best qualities of city-making in Riga and internationally.